Alberta-based nitro racing enthusiasts Rick & Jason DuChene are now heading some exclusively for drag racing within Canada….

The Sherwood Park based racers shook up their racing equation last summer when they debuted not one – but two – AA/Fuel Altered cars.

We believe we can say safely that those machines are unique for our country — we are not aware of any other Canadian based projects within this very rouge but still fan favourite AA/FA class category.

Along with his father Rick (who was a Western Canadian pioneering Funny Car driver earlier in his career) Jason is a co-owner of the “Trial N Error” Racing Team. That team had dabbled within localized fuel Funny Car racing over the last couple decades or so before shifting their program during 2016.


Alberta's Trial N Error Racing team unveiled a pair of bonifide AA/FA class cars during the past 2016 season

Alberta’s Trial N Error Racing team unveiled a pair of bonifide AA/FA class cars during the past 2016 season

During the 2015 off season, they worked to convert two of their in-house Funny Car chassis over for AA/FA and with that set a new platform for future endeavours.

“We campaigned a nitro Funny Car (on a match race and exhibition basis) for a few years but the opportunity for continuing that just fell off,” explained Jason. “Unless you can do the full NHRA series thing – it proved to be tough to line anything up. This idea (to go to AA/FA) is about 2 years old. We saw it as an opportunity and we decided to see where that could lead us.”

“Both cars are our Funny Car chassis with some modifications,” he continued. “These are both 5-disc clutch cars and things are basically the same except we have cut back on the fuel pumps and changed the superchargers. With those limiting factors it helps to keep both the maintenance involved and the expense for going racing down a bit. We want to move forward with doing some match races and also importantly — have some fun.”

During 2016 Jason and Rick’s team made some limited appearances only – testing at both Mission Raceway and Castrol Raceway. In the spring, they did call upon the experience of Ken Webster (from Sylvan Lake AB) to drive their second car – at least initially.

“Once we had the two cars completed we had planned to licence another driver,” Jason added. “But he then had some other commitments that came up so we aligned ourselves with Ken – who has driven a wide variety of cars in his career.”

For Webster, the initial arrangement with the Trial N Error team is but the latest fit for this very versatile driver who has a serious reputation for drag racing cars of many shapes and sizes throughout his career. That includes a series of various dragsters and door slammers, a Nostalgia Funny Car and even a wheel stander.

“I had always had an interest and paid attention to what the DuChene’s were doing,” said Ken Webster. “Then news came from a mutual friend that they looking for a “new monkey for their cage” and that led up to helping them test the cars in early June.”

Right now at the 2016 season end, the future for the team, including a permanent second driver, is still in a decision mode.

Jason Duchene and Ken Webster

Jason DuChene and Ken Webster

“Our objective is to have two licensed drivers on the team and pursue a tour for 2017,” Jason added. “Our plan is to then market match race and event appearances for two flame throwing 250 mph capable AA/FA’s running side-by-side. We want to get both the cars running consistent so that we can always put on a good show for racing fans.”

Whatever form 2017 ultimately brings – DragRaceCanada commends the teams’ “trial nature” and the fact they will be giving race fans the opportunity to see bonifide homegrown Canadian versions within this fringe class of drag racing that has stood the test of time.

Ken Webster's racing career has included a serious fleet of various configured drag racing vehicles.

Ken Webster’s racing career has included a serious fleet of various configured drag racing vehicles.

Jason Duchene drove this "Trial N Error" Camaro fuel FC for a few seasons.

Jason DuChene drove this “Trial N Error” Camaro fuel FC for a few seasons.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler